VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

27 March 2017
www.holidayinnvilnius.lt/
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Section 10: CULTURE & EVENTS


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XIII


Lithuania’s national painter and composer
MIKALOJUS KONSTANTINAS ČIURLIONIS (1875-1911)
ABOVE: Creation of the world – cycle of Thirteen Pictures (1905 – 1906)
Click on the pictures to see larger formats.

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A Lithuanian-American

librarians’s views of Lietuva

image022

By Jurate Kutkute Burns
Florida, USA

My most recent visit to Lietuva concluded on September 24th of this year. It was my fifth visit since I first saw my parents’ homeland in 1998 and I can honestly say that each time I come, my appreciation and love for this country grows.  Several of my  friends in Lietuva have asked me what I think of their country, or city,  as they wish to compare their vista with that seen by an  outsider. These are my impressions, colored in part by my own parents’ views of what Lietuva meant to them.

First, Lietuva, while geographically small, has an enormous investment in artistic and intellectual capital. Artists, musicians, poets, writers and teachers are appreciated for their talents.   Vilniaus Senamiestis is truly an architectural treasure, and each year more of the decayed buildings are being refurbished. Valdovu Rumai is a state-of-the-art museum which ranks with the world’s finest in quality of displays. Even small museums such as that of Anaztazija and Antanas Tamosaitis, present their treasures proudly, with honor. I was privileged to be given an after hours tour of Liongino Sepkos wood carvings at the Rokiskio Museum by a most enthusiastic guide, V. Kazlauskas. I was  in Rokiskis with my childhood friend, Vijole Arbas, to gather information for her mother’s  (Ale Ruta) 100 year jubilee.

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Category : Culture & events / Front page

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Berta upe Tilmantaite

is among the world's

top photographers

image040

OLEG – THE HUNTER IS A MOVIE BY BERTA UPE TILMANTAITE
SEE HTTPS://VIMEO.COM/81331998

By Aage Myhre

 When I spoke with Berta upe Tilmantaite a few days ago, she was on a photo assignment somewhere in Kenya's wilderness. Internet connection was very poor, but she managed at least to tell me that she would soon be back in Nairobi and that we then could talk more and her exploits as a photojournalist with absolutely the whole world as her geographical area.

Berta upe Tilmantaite is a Lithuanian multimedia journalist, photographer and story teller, currently based in Vilnius. She obtained her MA in International Multimedia Journalism from the University of Bolton / Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing) after graduating from Vilnius University.

Recently the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) organized an international photography competition "On the Go", and Berta up Tilmantaitė won first place with her photo “On the boat”

B.Tilmantaitės winning photograph will be exhibited in Luxembourg during the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers 'Meeting (12th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting).…

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Category : Culture & events / Front page

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ANCESTRY

By Daiva Markelis, Charleston, Illinois
Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University

When I was growing up, my mother was always going on about her aristocratic roots. Her great-grandfather had been a Prussian plikbajoris. Bajoris comes from the word bajoras, meaning nobleman, while plik is a shortened form of plikas, or naked. A naked nobleman was one whose wealth had dissipated, usually through fiscal mismanagement augmented by an excessive fondness for liquor.

Not to be outdone, my father would counter with the claim that his surname—Markelis—was one of a kind. “Except for my siblings, no other Markelises roam the face of earth,” he’d add, as if we were dinosaurs.
I felt doubly blessed. Having a singular last name was just as special as being the great great-granddaughter of Prussian plikbajoriai.

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Category : Culture & events

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An American growing
up in SIBERIA


NEW BOOK: "How I Became A Comrade:
An American Growing Up In Siberian Exile" by John E. Armonas
as told to Algis Ruksenas, is NOW AVAILABLE thru Amazon.com.

An American child deported with his mother to Siberia, torn from her when she is given additional punishment at hard labor in the notorious GULAG, is raised as a Soviet in order to survive.

John Armonas was a U.S. citizen, but had been left behind when his American-born father and five-year old sister, Donna, were urged to leave Lithuania back for the United States, after the Soviets first occupied Lithuania in 1940. His mother Barbara, a native Lithuanian, was assured by American officials she could soon follow with nine-month old John, as soon as her immigration papers were expedited. Instead, they ended up in Siberia...

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Category : Culture & events

The strange phenomenon of Eurovision

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By Saulene Valskyte

Eurovision for Lithuanians is like one more religion after basketball. Everybody has their opinion on everything: how the artist should look, how they should move on the stage, what the song should be, how it should be performed. The strangest thing is that with such a big group of experts, somehow we pick the wrong person every year.

Every year lots and lots of groups and single artists fills out applications to participate in the Eurovision song competition. Every year thousands of people are watching the National Finals to vote for the best song and finally win. And every year right after the results of the National Final the weirdness begins.

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Category : Culture & events

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Lithuanian genius artist
Marija T. Rožanskaitė

By Daiva Repečkaitė

I attended an amazing gallery tour by Laima Kreivytė, the curator of the exhibition of Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė’s work. I had seen some works by Rožanskaitė at the National Gallery of Art earlier, and I thought that she was among the most interesting Lithuanian artists of all times, but the current exhibition gives a full picture of her genius. Rožanskaitė (1933-2007) started her career under Soviet censorship, when artistic expression was carefully monitored and abstract art was treated unfavorably. However, her ‘progressive’ topics (modern medicine, space exploration and industrial cities) allowed her to get through the censorship. However, being a child of political prisoners and a progressive artist, she was largely ignored in the USSR. When Lithuania became independent, the artist continued producing innovative art, creating spatial assemblages and installations, addressing ecological and political topics, adored by the young generation. And yet I never studied about her work at art history lessons, and I heard nothing about her death in 2007 from the mainstream press. It’s a typical way to treat women artists.

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Category : Culture & events / Front page

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The land I lead you to
is Lithuania

SMALL IS THIS LAND,
But great is its truths. To be. To survive. To testify by itself to the abundance and variety of the world’s nations, to the value of man’s life in freedom in his homeland.

PAINFUL IS THIS LAND,
Each blade of grass here sprouts from a drop of blood or a tear.

TOILFUL IS THIS LAND,
In the sandy soil of a hillock it grows both grain and graves marked with crosses.

BRAVE IS THIS LAND,
It went from uprising to uprising, from exile to exile, from deportation to deportation. A great number of its people were laid to rest in the permafrost of Siberia, some of their bones were flown back to their native soil, the survivors lost their health in slave labour, but returned home.

BEAUTIFUL IS THIS LAND,
Over each hillock, over each forest and over each lake it looks the same and different. It is just like our folk song: Though over the Nemunas river it seems to be sung in a different manner, it is nevertheless filled with the same longing and poignant emotion.

Justinas Marcinkevičius

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Category : Culture & events / Front page

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Justinas Marcinkevičius
(1930-2011)


Justin Marcinkevičius Važatkiemio in his native village in 1986.
Photo: Romuald Rakausko.

Marcinkevičius was born in 1930 in Važatkiemis, Prienai district. In 1954 he graduated from Vilnius University History and Philology faculty with a degree in Lithuanian language and Literature. He joined the Communist party in 1957. He worked for a number of years as vice-chairman of the board of the official Union of Lithuanian Writers. He died in Vilnius on the 16th of February 2011.

Having grown up during the post-war period, Marcinkevičius evokes in his poetry a romanticized version of childhood spent in the Lithuanian countryside, of first love, of man's relationship with nature. In his poetry specific and solid peasant thinking is combined with a mind seeking to draw broad general conclusions, and the tradition of Lithuanian poetry singing the Earth's praises with contemporary modes of poetic thought. As a poet, he has sought to grasp the essence of national experience and give it fresh artistic expression. In his lyrical verse Marcinkevičius strives to comprehend the real meaning of what is going on inside man and society and moves the reader with his ardent lyrical confessions.

For most his life Justinas Marcinkevičius lived and wrote during the complex times of Soviet totalitarianism. He defended the cultural self-awareness of his nation. The poet brought back humanistic idea in describing a man, continued on the romantic and lyric poetry tradition, valued the aesthetic side of literature, as opposed to the heroic and propagandistic style of socialist realism. Marcinkevičius wrote poems in a romantic and modern style. Justinas Marcinkevičius is regarded as one of the most prominent members of Sąjūdis.

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Category : Culture & events / Front page

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Rescuing a Photo Prince
From Obscurity

By JULIE TURKEWITZ, NEW YORK TIMES

Tanya Aldag slips into a closet-size room in her home in suburban Maryland. The door clicks shut. Here, surrounded by thousands of black and white prints, she goes tumbling back to Soviet-era Lithuania.

“It’s like you’re going deep into the water,” she said. “It can be hard to go there.”

Ms. Aldag, 64, is the widow of Vitas Luckus, once a prince — perhaps even a king — of the Soviet photography scene. From the 1960s to the mid-1980s, he traveled throughout the Soviet bloc, capturing peasants, performers, partiers and policemen, as well as a generation of grippingly attractive young artists. He scurried across sloping rooftops (Slide 15), camera swinging from his neck. He worked obsessively, with little care for what others thought. The secret police were a constant presence in his life, burgling his home and beating him in bathrooms and cafes.

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Category : Culture & events / Front page

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Clara Nathanson

I have a collection of works by Clara Nathanson. I was wondering if you could include them in your web site. Photographed by Brennan O'Brien.

Clara (Nathanson) Sachar was born 1/1/1887 in Lituva, Lithuania, and died 1/23/1968 in St. Louis, MO. She married Charles R. Sachar on 8/18/1914 in St. Louis ...

Patrick Weil Bertrand

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Category : Culture & events

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A poem about the
witches among us


Lent is imminent, and writer KR Slade wants to remind us of what it
represented in pagan Lithuania. In his poem "My Dream of When the
Witch is Found ..." he deals with today's witches and devils in Lithuania,
the many who are still engaging in anti-Semitism and racism.

By KR Slade

This year, Lent begins on 13 February (i.e., Ash Wednesday). Therefore, 12 February is ‘Shrove Tuesday’:which in Lithuania is called ‘Užgavėnės’ (i.e., “time before lent”) … that is an ancient pagan-festival -- “to chase away winter” -- and: celebrated by fire, and the wearing of masks -- notably representing witches and devils.

Such ancient witches/devils mask-representations, and their symbolism: are more-recently found in the first-half of the 20th century (i.e., in anti-Semitic Nazi, fascist, Soviet, et als. propaganda). Indeed, some people consider such past and current representation(s) to be anti-Semitic.

Moreover, I have found in Lithuania a degree of anti-Semitism that I did not find in the USA LT community; indeed, I find such anti-Semitism here in LT in my own family (here), and with my LT friends, colleagues and associates . . .  I find the devil/witch concept still with us, in LT . . .

That is why I wrote this poem; “My dream of when the witch is found.”

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Category : Culture & events


OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com



    • Berta upe Tilmantaite is among the world's top photographers OLEG – THE HUNTER IS A MOVIE BY BERTA UPE TILMANTAITE.SEE HTTPS://VIMEO.COM/81331998 By Aage Myhre When I spoke with Berta upe Tilmantaite a few days ago, she was on a photo assignment somewhere in Kenya's wilderness. Internet connection was very poor, but she managed at least to tell me that she would soon be back in Nairobi and that we then could talk more and her exploits as a photojournalist with absolutely the whole world as her geographical area. Berta upe Tilmantaite is a Lithuanian multimedia journalist, photographer and story teller, currently based in Vilnius. She obtained

    • SUMMER POETRY

      VilNews will this summer from time to time publish poetry that we receive from our readers. Please send us yours!


      Night Knight

      by KR Slade

      I finished at school then home I came.
      And fourteen days past Christmas next
      my father went in sleep to his grave.
      When I had forgotten so long before
      the stories at bedtime that he had told.
      I'd always to sleep and miss some part
      but waked again to hear some more;
      so all the story I'd often heard but never
      remembered from start to end, the all.
      Wasn't it just of our to-make-believe ?
      Didn't we laugh because it wasn't true ?
      But now I know that jest was only just
      to make it less scary for then and now.
      The legend that would for me come true.

      Read the poem here...

    • Rimgaudas P. Vidziunas
      Mesa, Arizona, USA


      The photo is of the author, Rimgaudas P. Vidziunas, walking on the shores of the Baltic Sea. He was inspired to write poetry upon his first visit to Lithuanian in 1999

      Today we are pleased to introduce you to Rimgaudas P. Vidziunas who came to the USA in 1949. Visited Lithuania 1999, 2002. BA History, University of Miami, Florida January 1970. Photographer for over 35 years.

      Follow him on Facebook: "Photography by Rimgaudas". Currently residing Mesa, Arizona, USA.
      Email: rvidziunas@yahoo.com

                                   * * *

      BALTIC BEACH DREAMS

      I thought I heard you dream of Baltic beaches.
      Walking in the evening sunset toward the cottage
      That lies among the dunes.
      The storm battered rain on our face, watching the storm end. 
      The return of the seagulls
      Indicates the ending of the storm
      And fly to greet us
      As if saying all is well. 

BBC:"We don't receive much from Lithuanian Radio, unlike Estonia which sends us lots"

How I agree with the heading statement "Lithuania is a cultural treasure the world still knows far too little about" I have been visiting Lietuva since 2003 and quickly fell in love with your country.
Two aspects are of special interest to me: your railways (I assist the editor of Baltic Railways Magazine with the translation of the articles into English) and classical music.
Despite a stream of letters to the BBC since 2004, I haven't been able to persuade them to take an interest in Lithuanian music. I did manage to have Ciurlionis' Miske played in a request programme, but that was all. Offers to prepare a series of five programmes on Lithuanian music in the Composer of the Week series fell on deaf ears ("too far off the beaten track" they said) as did my suggestion that the Radio 3 Breakfast programme play the cd of Vytautas Landsbergis playing some of Ciurlionis' piano works on Black Ribbon Day ("we don't do anniversaries").
With the Ciurlionis 100th anniversary imminent, I will certainly have another go at the BBC to celebrate it.
One excuse for not playing Lithuanian music was that "we don't receive much from Lithuanian Radio, unlike Estonia which sends us lots". It would help if the appropriate organisations in Lietuva bombarded the BBC with Lithuanian music. Regular broadcasts of Lithuanian music would probably help to promote the Lithuanian musicians based in England (such as Evelina Puzaite) who never get a mention on the BBC.

Tony Olsson,
North Devon, United Kingdom




Our Vilnews section for 'culture & events' aims to build bridges

The Vilnews culture section is a place for building bridges between different cultures and people. Vilnews is meant to break down the barriers between "low" and "high" culture and focuses on filling in the gaps that a neglect of popular culture has left in our understanding of the workings of society.

The articles in Vilnews culture section are written by Lithuanians who live in Lithuania or outside the country. The texts combine literature, history and the arts, popular, the taken-for-granted and the ordinary pieces of Lithuanian life to produce analyses of Lithuanian culture. Vilnews journal provides breadth, depth, provocation and passion in reporting the nuances of human‘s life experiences relating to culture. Vilnews is always open for ideas or submissions and responses from anyone on the Internet. We take seriously the need to move ideas outward, so that our cultural debates may have some resonance with wider political and cultural interests.

Indrė Lauciutė, Section Editor



    • Painted music of Čiurlionis
      You don’t need to read about Čiurlionis to know him. It’s just better to look at his paintings or listen to his music. When I see Čiurlionis’ art, I feel like I'm in one of those surrealistic fantasy dreams I occasionally have. I could stare for hours at these paintings, especially at the one from the serious “Creation of the world”. This small world from the forest painted in velvet blue and bright cream white colours makes my mind to change. I see a symbol of faith, hope and sacrifice in it which sometimes is the last thing left to us. Čiurlionis is known for symbolism. All of his paintings take you to the fantastic land, cosmic journey, to the fairytale.
      Read more...

    • A world famous classical accordionist from Šiauliai
      Martynas Levickis, a student of Professor Owen Murray at the Royal Academy of London, UK, recently won the piano accordion soloists section at the CIA Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championships) in Varaždin, Croatia, October 19th to 25th.

      Martynas Levickis studied at the Šiauliai Conservatoire, Lithuania, and the Royal Academy of London, UK. He has performed and won multiple prizes at international competitions and festivals in Lithuania, the USA, Italy, France, Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Croatia and Belarus.
      Read more...

Climb with us up to the loft...

A very special 'loft culture' is under development in Lithuania. Here is the mission paragraphs of one of the new groups, 'LOFTAS':

1) The Centre aim to promote the idea of modern substantial culture among young people to develop their cultural maturity, to encourage involvement and creativity. We want to develop a cultured, active, open-minded community.
2) To promote the creative expression of artists Lithuanian
3) The development of a cultural capital of Vilnius as well as the image of Lithuania as well as internationally.





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